1 And the Ziphites went to Saul at Gibeah, saying: “Behold, David is hidden on the hill of Hachilah, which is opposite the wilderness.”
2 And Saul rose up, and he descended into the desert of Ziph, and with him three thousand elect men of Israel, so that he might seek David in the desert of Ziph.
3 And Saul encamped at Gibeah on Hachilah, which was opposite the wilderness on the way. But David was living in the desert. Then, seeing that Saul had arrived after him in the wilderness,
4 he sent explorers, and he learned that he certainly had arrived in that place.
5 And David rose up secretly, and he went to the place where Saul was. And when he had seen the place where Saul was sleeping, and Abner, the son of Ner, the leader of his military, and Saul sleeping in a tent, and the remainder of the common people all around him,
6 David spoke to Ahimelech, the Hittite, and to Abishai, the son of Zeruiah, the brother of Joab, saying, “Who will descend with me to Saul in the camp?” And Abishai said, “I will descend with you.”
7 Therefore, David and Abishai went to the people by night, and they found Saul lying down and sleeping in the tent, with his spear fixed in the ground at his head. And Abner and the people were sleeping all around him.
8 And Abishai said to David: “God has enclosed your enemy this day in your hands. Now therefore, I will pierce him with my lance, through to the ground, once, and there will not need to be a second.”
9 And David said to Abishai: “You shall not kill him. For who may extend his hand against the Christ of the Lord, and yet be innocent?”
10 And David said: “As the Lord lives, unless the Lord himself will strike him, or unless his day to die will have arrived, or unless, descending into battle, he will perish,
11 may the Lord be gracious to me, so that I may not extend my hand against the Christ of the Lord. Now therefore, take the spear that is at his head, and the cup of water, and let us go.”
12 And so, David took the spear, and the cup of water that was at Saul’s head, and they went away. And there was no one who saw it, or realized it, or awakened, but they were all sleeping. For a deep sleep from the Lord had fallen over them.
13 And when David had crossed over to the opposite side, and had stood upon the top of the hill far away, so that there was a great interval between them,
14 David cried out to the people, and to Abner, the son of Ner, saying, “Will you not respond, Abner?” And responding, Abner said, “Who are you, that you would cry out and disquiet the king?”
15 And David said to Abner: “Are you not a man? And who else is like you in Israel? Then why have you not guarded your lord the king? For one of the people entered, so that he might kill the king, your lord.
16 This is not good, what you have done. As the Lord lives, you are sons of death, because you have not guarded your lord, the Christ of the Lord. Now therefore, where is the king’s spear, and where is the cup of water that was at his head?”
17 Then Saul recognized the voice of David, and he said, “Is this not your voice, my son David?” And David said, “It is my voice, my lord the king.”
18 And he said: “For what reason has my lord pursued his servant? What have I done? Or what evil is there in my hand?
19 Now therefore, listen, I beg you, my lord the king, to the words of your servant. If the Lord has stirred you up against me, let him make the sacrifice fragrant. But if the sons of men have done so, they are accursed in the sight of the Lord, who has cast me out this day, so that I would not live within the inheritance of the Lord, saying, ‘Go, serve strange gods.’
20 And now, let not my blood be poured out upon the earth before the Lord. For the king of Israel has gone out, so that he might seek a flea, just as the partridge is pursued amid the mountains.”
21 And Saul said: “I have sinned. Return, my son David. For I will never again do evil to you, because my life has been precious in your eyes this day. For it is apparent that I have acted senselessly, and have been ignorant of very many things.”
22 And responding, David said: “Behold, the king’s spear. Let one of the servants of the king cross over and take it.
23 And the Lord will repay each one according to his justice and faith. For the Lord has delivered you this day into my hand, but I was not willing to extend my hand against the Christ of the Lord.
24 And just as your soul has been magnified this day in my eyes, so let my soul be magnified in the eyes of the Lord, and may he free me from all distress.”
25 Then Saul said to David: “You are blessed, my son David. And whatever you may do, it shall certainly succeed.” And David departed on his way. And Saul returned to his place.